Apart from the homonymy with the well-known and very controversial writer, the new
Juan Valdez has the distinction of being a coffee farmer himself. In a context in which ethics are increasingly marketable, a brand-based persona may be so flexible.
The USA Today piece provides a short but useful summary of some economic issues behind the global coffee market. One thing that can be said is that Columbia’s Fedecafe has successfully achieved recognition for being a major force behind consistent quality in coffee production. Their coffee beans might not produce the most complex flavours or aromas, but they serve as a decent base in a blend because they’re usually clean-tasting.
With the Cup of Excellence program, Columbia could achieve recognition for superior quality coffee, along with other coffee producing regions of Central and South America (Bolivia, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua).
Coupled with the controversial “Fair Trade” programs, these marketing and auction programs are changing the global coffee trade.